#AaronStartsSolids - The start of our weaning journey with baby #2

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It’s been a hot minute since I last wrote a blog post, but seeing as I am currently on a little holiday at the beach with Granny and have some extra hands, I’ve had a few moments to write this in between the general chaos of life with #twoundertwo.

As I did with Everly, we’ve done & will carry on doing a mixture of puree’s & baby led weaning, but as I really want to make sure that Aaron is getting loads of nutrition, we are doing more puree’s as opposed to him playing around with food. I do love the idea of ‘Food before 1 is just for fun’ but as you’ll read below, we have needed to really get into proper solid meals quite quickly, and mashing up stews and mixing lots of different food is the perfect way to do this.

So, let’s dive straight into sharing how Aaron’s journey to solids has gone so far.

First of all, I must say that looking back, I actually think that Aaron has been ready for real food for quite some time. I delayed it, because I started with Everly a little too soon, and I wish I had waited until she was 6 months old. Because of this, I thought waiting was the best way forward with Aaron. But, as we all know (but us moms don’t aways really internalise) ALL BABIES ARE DIFFERENT, and starting later with him hasn’t been the best thing for him.

For the last couple of months I have been a little concerned with Aaron’s weight gain, and decided to see the Paediatrician for his 6 month vaccinations (I usually just pop into a pharmacy and see the nurse for the routine jabs but this time I thought it might be worth seeing a doctor). While Aaron’s weight hasn’t dropped off, he hasn’t been gaining as much as he should be (according to his other measurements) and it seems something happened around his 3rd month, as that is when he stopped gaining weight well. I think what happened was a combination of the stress of having two little ones, Aaron stopped being a sleepy newborn and really started fighting his day time sleep, and the biggest thing for me, I think his nutritional needs were not being 100% met by my milk. In saying this, I don’t believe there was anything wrong with my actual milk supply or milk quality (something the Paed mentioned to be the issue…but something I don’t really think is an actual issue as I believe your body always makes exactly what your baby needs…but when your body makes breastmilk, it does draw from your own ‘supplies’, and so it’s always moms body which is left depleted as opposed to your milk). Anyway, her advice was to take better care of myself (no skipping meals…something I was doing not because I wanted to, but because I genuinely wasn’t finding the time to make myself food) and to get Aaron on to solids pronto. We had started him on solids a little bit here and there, but now I am fully into the swing of things and will share what, when and how we are going about it this second time…as well as sharing what you need to get started.

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Equipment

Recipe Books & Inspiration

These are my go to books for weaning advice, recipes & inspiration:

  • The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care by Sally Fallon and Thomas S. Cowan (slightly alternative ideas in here but I take what I like out of it and leave the rest)

  • Real Meal Revolution: Raising Superheroes Book by Bridget Surtees, Jonno Proudfoot, and Tim Noakes

  • Weaning Sense by Meg Faure & Kath Megaw

  • Real Food, Healthy, Happy Children by Kath Megaw

I used the first 3 books with Everly (Nourishing Traditions, Raising Superheros & Weaning Sense) and recently bough the Real Food, Healthy, Happy Children and it’s great too! From the titles of these books, you may have seen that we follow a slightly non-traditional approach to starter foods for baby. As with my daughter, we are be introducing Aaron to REAL food from the get go…this means no baby cereals, opting for egg yolk, veggies & iron rich meat. The ‘blandest’ food he gets that is the most like cereal has been oats, but I give this to him with lots of cream, cinnamon & fruit puree.

**NB I am not a Pediatrician, or a dietitian or any other form of the 'tion' family, so please use your mommy guy when it comes to food for your little ones. We also have no family history of allergies, and both Farmboy and I loosely follow a LowCarb/HighFat or Banting lifestyle and so my babies eat accordingly. If you are feeling nervous about giving your little one something I mention in this post, rather chat to your Doctor/Paed. I'm simply sharing what I do and what my little girl has loved eating, and what her brother now loves too. We follow the school of thought that encourages the introduction of ALL food groups before the age of one (this includes all allergenic foods from fish to peanuts to eggs). The only exception to this is raw honey. As for cow’s milk, I give Everly & Aaron full-cream dairy yogurt (preferably homemade), cream cheese, cottage cheese etc. Please listen to your mommy gut, and if your family has a history of allergies speak to your paed about introducing allergens.


Something to prepare food with:

While you can absolutely use a pot to steam food & then a hand masher, I am all about time saving gadgets. We have both the Philips Avent Combined Steamer and Blender and the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender (this was sent to me to review when I started solids with Everly) and I’ve loved them both. I’ll eventually get around to doing a comparison of the two, but they both have pros and cons and so I use them interchangeably. Both of these awesome gadgets steam & blend food, making preparing your little one’s meals a piece of cake.


Something to store food in:

I use ice trays to freeze pureed food in once it’s been steamed and blended. Then once frozen, I pop out the cubes and put them into little zip lock freezer bags, label them, and then pop them in the freezer. I find ziplock bags take up less space in the freezer, and help keep things nice and organised.

These pastel coloured ice trays are from Plastic Land, and I use the Woolies mini ziplock freezer bags to store the cubes in.


Something to sit in:

We have a few different things that we used with Everly that we are now using with Aaron. You don’t need to have all of these, or even any of them, but this is what we have used and found worked well for different places & traveling:

  • High Chair (the plastic Little One from Game is wonderful! Super easy to clean and it’s neat and tidy)

  • Bumbo (we don’t actually have a Bumbo, but I do have the Baby Throne potty haha which works just like a Bumbo so this gets used often when Everly is using the high chair)

  • ‘Counter/Table’ chair from Safeway - we use this when traveling and it works like a bomb. It’s similar to the ones that restaurants usually have.

  • Bouncy chair - this is what I used when we first started as Aaron spent a lot of time in it anyway.


Something to eat with & eat out of:

  • I’ve used a mixture of Tommee Tippee Essential Food Pots & their Pop Up Freezer Pots that I was sent to try when Everly started solids. These are great for freezing food in, as well as serving out of.

  • Avent breastmilk storage post (these are the BOMB!) I still use these for storing Everly’s food when we are out and about, and they hold a lovely sized portion too. I bought mine at Clicks, but you can buy them at BabyCity and Dischem too. I have the Avent Manuel breastpump, so I use these pots all the time, not just for food.

  • Munchkin White Hot Spoons are the perfect size for little mouths (Everly still uses them) and are soft tipped too. They also change colour to show when food is too hot. We have used these for years and I love them! I bough mine from Mr Price home.

  • Then I also use any and all small glass/ceramic bowls at home to heat the food up in/serve out of…so no need to buy any thing fancy, you can make do with what you already have at home.

  • Tommee Tippee Magic Mat which keeps bowls from being flung off the table with it’s lovely suction base.

  • Once Aaron gets older, we will use the Tommee Tippee Bowls which are also great for putting snacks in and you don’t have to worry about them shattering when they get thrown off the table.


Something to keep baby (relatively) clean:

I LOVE these long sleeve bibs from Trendlings, and used one for Everly (she still uses it even though it’s getting a bit small for her) and now Aaron has one too. They just help moms (if you’re anything like me) with the anxiety that comes with baby led weaning and food going here, there and everywhere. While food still ends up in places you didn’t think possible, these bibs take care of most of the mess.

Trendlings also sell wet bags in matching prints! Wet bags are basically waterproof bags for storing wet things (like cloth nappies when you are out and about, or even swimming cozzies). I’ve got the matching wet bags in the feather print, and the polar bear print.

But, I also have a stack of regular fabric bibs on hand too. These get REALLY dirty and stained, and so I just keep a pile of old ones near the high chair to grab for meal times.


Aaron’s current (rough) milk & food schedule at 6.5 months old:

  • 6-7am wakeup & breastfeed

  • nap

  • +-9:30 am breakfast (oats/egg yolk & veggies/liver & veggies)

  • nap (breastfeed on wakeup)

  • +-1pm lunch (pureed stew/veggies & meat followed by some yoghurt & nut butter/fruit puree)

  • nap (breastfeed on wakeup)

  • +-5pm supper (pureed stew/veggies & meat followed by some yoghurt & nut butter/fruit puree)

  • 6pm bath, breastfeed, bed

  • plus one or two night feeds depending on whether he is super grumpy/teething/grouchy/missing his mommy

So, Aaron has +- 5/6 milk feeds, and then 3 solid meals in 24 hour


Weaning your baby

All of the books I posted above have great guides & ‘meal plans’ for starting solids, and how you go about it is up to you and your baby. Lots of moms like to add in one ‘thing’ at a time for about 3 days to see if baby has any reaction to that food, others go right on with adding mixes of food from the very beginning. A few things to bear in mind when starting solids (and to encourage you that you aren’t doing anything wrong):

  • There WILL be LOADS of waste in the beginning! Think about it, your baby has had nothing but milk/formula for his whole life, and now you’re suddenly giving him something new. Aaron took two weeks of pulling his nose up at everything , and then suddenly it was a light switch went on and he is devouring anything and everything I can throw at him.

  • Some babies need longer than others to get used to solids, and that’s okay. Listen to your baby, and watch for their signs of being full/not being interested.

  • Follow your baby’s readiness. I don’t think Everly was quite ready for solids when I started with her (just over 5 months) but looking back, Aaron has been ready since about 4 months old. Try not to compare (as hard as it is!!!) and remember that your baby has their whole life ahead of them to eat, so don’t rush them if you aren’t showing any interest.

  • Some foods take time to get used to. Keep offering the foods that your little one turns their nose up at, it can take up to 10 introductions of certain foods for baby to get used to it, and to realise they do actually like it.

  • You don’t have to follow any set rules for starting solids. Some moms like the idea of baby led weaning and hate the idea of preparing purees. Other moms are scared of the idea of their baby chocking on food and so like to go the puree’s route. Follow your gut, and do your research. Find other moms who do things the way you would like to do them.

  • Enjoy the journey! It’s a really exciting & new journey for you and your baby (not matter how many times you’ve done it before). Relax and have fun with a whole new world of flavours, textures and smells for your little one.

More posts on Starting Solids

Please feel free to ask any questions you might have on starting solids. I love hearing from you, and always reply to all comments posted.

Happy weaning!

#EverlyStartsSolids - Meal Ideas for 8+ month olds

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Everly has now been eating solids for about nearly 4 months now, and we are really having a lot of fun together. We didn't take things slow in the beginning (click here to read more about the first few days of solids) but she has developed a VERY healthy appetite and is incredible adventurous with her tastes. Sometimes I'm at a loss as to what to give her (I'm not the biggest cook around and really don't enjoy cooking as much as Farmboy does) and then I scrounge around in the fridge, grab the first thing I see thinking she will turn her nose up, and lo and behold, she devours the entire tub of said 'weird and wacky' food item. This happened this morning actually, I grabbed some double cream greek yoghurt and gave it to her as is (usually I add cinnamon/pear/apple/nut butter to it but alas, nothing on hand today) and she gobbled it up. I can't even bear to eat yoghurt plain...yuck! But she really went to town on it, her dairy farmer Dad would be proud!

Now, a lightbulb went off my head the other day when I realised, 'hey, who says we have to eat eggs for breakfast and meat for dinner!' and now I play around with giving Everly traditional 'breakfast' style meals at supper time, and vice versa. It all depends on how I'm feeling, whether I have time to make up new meals in that moment,  or whether Everly is up to being adventurous (this is pretty much most of the time).

**NB I am not a Pediatrician, or a dietitian or any other form of the 'tion' family, so please use your mommy guy when it comes to food for your little ones. We also have no family history of allergies, and both Farmboy and I loosely follow a LowCarb/HighFat or Banting lifestyle and so Everly eats accordingly. If you are feeling nervous about giving your little one something I mention below, rather chat to your Doctor/Paed. I'm simply sharing what I do and what my little girl has loved eating. We follow the school of thought that encourages the introduction of ALL food groups before the age of one (this includes all allergenic foods from fish to peanuts to eggs). The only exception to this is raw honey. As for cow’s milk, I give Everly full-cream dairy yogurt (preferably homemade), cream cheese, cottage cheese, yellow cheese etc. Please listen to your mommy gut, and if your family has a history of allergies speak to your paed about introducing allergens.

Also, some days Everly refuses to eat more than a sprinkle of the specially prepared meals I offer her, and other days she devours the whole bowl and demands more. I try to listen to her and not force her to eat things she doesn't want to eat. I try and remind myself that these are little humans we are dealing with, and I often have days when I don't feel like eating oats, or eggs or tuna...they are entitled to feel the same :)

Some of these ideas are for foods that your little one can feed themselves with (loosely based on the Baby Weaning method) and others are for the more traditional spoon feeding method. We've done a mixture of the two approaches to weaning, and it's going very well so far. I have also been feeding Everly more of our left overs, which makes life SO much easier. I have included a few of these ideas too, that you can make for the whole family, and then feed to baby the next day.

I was going to put these ideas under Breakfast/Lunch/Supper headings, but then realised there really is no reason to box your baby into meal types. I've given each of these things to Everly at all sorts of weird and wonderful times of the day and she hasn't complained once. So go wild! And let me know in the comments if there is something you love making for your little one, and what their favourite meals are.

  • Butternut Omelette (mix a few cubes of pureed or steamed/roast butternut with an egg and fry in a pan with lots of butter/coconut oil)

  • Broccoli Omelette (mix some steamed broccoli florets with an egg and fry in a pan with lots of butter/coconut oil)

  • Tuna Omelette (same as above but using tinned tuna...aim for tuna in brine/olive oil).

  • Berry Yoghurt (mix some frozen berries with full cream/Greek yoghurt...bonus points for using homemade yoghurt...recipe to come soon!)

  • Apple/Pear Oats with Cinnamon (cook up some steel cut oats with breastmilk/formula and add some

  • Sardines (as in...a tin of sardines! These are an AMAZING food for babies, and full of omega rich fatty acids! I feed Everly these straight from the tin, sometimes mixing them with whatever veg I have on hand. Be sure to buy sardines in oil, not sauce & don’t buy a boneless ones – remember you want the calcium from the bones - these are super soft so you don't need to worry about your little one choking. Try buy the olive oil rather than soybean oil. Make sure to check the ingredients for added preservatives, some tinned sardines do have added salt, so just rinse them off before mushing (click here for an awesome post by BabyJakesMom on why Sardines are the ultimate brain food for your baby).

  • Veggie mash & Chicken/Beef Stock (I always make sure to have lots of cubes of frozen chicken stock to add to veggies etc. It's so easy and will make all those healthy veggies that aren't always so tasty, so go down a treat. Make your own batch of stock so you ensure your little one isn't getting any of those nasty preservatives...recipe to follow soon).

  • Lemon Butter Grilled Hake with Steamed Brocolli, Cauiflower & Cous Cous (this one is a family meal that can easily be mashed up for baby's next meal. Grill hake fillets in the oven with butter & lemon, serve with steamed veg & cous cous).

  • Veggie Mash & Cream Cheese (choose a mixture of veg and add a scoop of full fat cream cheese)

  • Berry Beetroot (steam beetroot and add a mixture of berries...frozen berries from Woolies work well! This can be served mixed with yoghurt too).

  • Liver Pate (another EXCELLENT brain food for little ones! Buy fresh and gently fry in butter, then mash together with cream cheese. It's delicious on it's own, or added to veggie mash).

Try and offer your little one water in a sippy/straw cup with every meal. They may not actually drink anything (those cups sure do make for fun chew toys it seems) but it is important to get them in the habit of drinking water. It's also good for their little tummies to help avoid/deal with constipation issues that often follow when transitioning to solids.


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When I mention cubes, I mean ice tray cubes of pre-made steamed baby food you've previously made and frozen

>>>click here for a full post on how I make and store fruit & veg, especially in the first few weeks and months of weaning. I love my TommeeTippee Steamer Blender machine which helps save time when it comes to meal prep.

 


Happy cooking!

x

#FromFarmToTable - Homemade Baby food in Collaboration with Tommee Tippee

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If you've been following me for a little while now, you might have seen my previous posts here on the blog and on Instagram where I’ve been sharing the beginning of our #EverlyStartsSolids journey.  My little girl is now 6 months old, and we are well into the swing of things when it comes to weaning her onto real food. I'm so excited to share this post with you, showing you how easy it is to make your own baby food, ensuring you avoid all those nasty additives and preservatives that are in store bought purees.

Although we are using fresh veggies from our own little veggie garden, you can still make delicious and nutritious meals for your little ones using store bought fruit & veg. 

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Our veggie garden goes through a lot of ups and downs. Sometimes it looks amazing and is bountiful, and other times I spend my life picking off the millions of snails that find their way onto anything and everything that grows. Plus there's the constant battle with the weeds. But even though it takes a bit of work, there's nothing quite like the feeling of picking your own homegrown vegetables, and eating them fresh from the garden.

Having our own veggie garden has also inspired me to make all my own first meals for Everly. We live out in the middle of nowhere, and so it's pretty much impossible to pop to the shops and stock up on ingredients. But I'm really not going to complain, when these are the views we look out on every day...

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Today I want to share with you one of the recipes from Meg Faure's Weaning Sense recipe book. This is her Rainbow Veg Mash, and is a really lovely 'base' to start with, and then to add other more exciting flavours to once your little one is used to it. So far I've added chicken stock, liver and cream cheese to it, and Everly has loved it! The recipe makes about three baby cup fulls which you can freeze easily for future use.

I've really been liking the Tommee Tippee Explora Freezer pots for freezing, as they have a very clever rubber base that allows you to ‘pop’ out the frozen food easily. They are also dishwasher, microwave & steriliser safe, although I prefer to heat up Everly’s food using hot water as I’m not a huge fan of the microwave. I also love the Essentials food pots (the pink see-through pots pictured below with the pinks lids) for storing left over food, and particularly for heating up her meals. They stack beautifully, taking up less space in your freezer, and are ideal for traveling too. Also, as they are see-through, you can easily tell what food is inside. This is particularly helpful if you are like me, and like to make & freeze in bulk. You can tell at a quick glance whether it’s butternut or beetroot, and grab what you need.

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When it comes to actually steaming & blending baby food, I can't get over just how easy it is to do with the Steamer Blender machine from Tommee Tippee. I was sent over one to try, and at first I thought it to be a bit of an extravagance. I mean, can't you just use a pot and then transfer everything to another bowl and blend using a hand blender or blending machine? Well, read on friends!

Now, while you can just use any old pot you have at home to steam and then blend with another device, the Steamer Blender just makes things sooooooo easy. It's as simple as; chop veggies, pop into the jug, press some buttons and voila, a perfectly steamed & blended meal…ready to be eaten (or frozen for later).

When steaming veggies, it's really easy to forget that a lot of the goodness stays behind in the water. With this machine, the water stays in the jug, and then is used to blend the mixture. This way, all the goodness goes right back into the meal. And if you are already past the first few weeks of starting solids with your little one, you'll be happy to know that you can set the amount of 'blending' you'd like. You can make really smooth purees for the beginning stages of your solid food journey, or you can leave it chunkier as baby progresses to more textured food. Or you can skip the blending stage altogether…there are so many different options. I have to say this gadget really does make life simpler.

I've even been known to whip up a good couple of batches of sweet potato mash for Farmboy and myself, so believe me when I say you really will get a lot of use out of the Steamer Blender, even as baby gets older.

I have been freezing extra 'single' food into ice trays (ice cubes are the perfect size for Everly's first meals as she isn't eating that much just yet). Then I go shopping in the freezer, picking out a few ice cube combinations and then pop them into a cup to defrost. You can also take the frozen cubes out the night before and put them in the fridge to defrost overnight if you're the sort of person who remembers to do that. I always plan on doing that and then forget!

Another huge bonus when it comes to the Steamer Blender machine is how easy it is to clean. I know not everyone is as crazy about doing the dishes as I am (for realsies, I genuinely find doing the dishes to be relaxing and FAR prefer it to cooking!). So for those moms or dads out there who despise doing the dishes, this piece of tech is going to change your life! There aren't a million and one pots and pans and spoons. It's one jug that is easy to rinse clean, and then can be popped into the dishwasher if you're feeling really lazy. Otherwise it's a quick rinse in hot soapy water and then you're good to go!

Want to see the steamer blender in action? We made a fun little video showcasing our meal prep and would love to share it with you. You’ll also be able to see our menagerie of animals, in particular, #AmberTheGinger & #ShadowTheJindo. 

We hope you enjoyed the little glimpse into our lives here on the family dairy farm. I've got lots more video ideas (including a few on cloth nappies!) which I'm going to be putting up on my youtube channel soon. Let me know in the comments below if there's anything in particular you'd like me to make a video about. 

I post a lot of behind the scenes photos & videos over on Instagram Stories, so make sure you're following me over there too. Please do drop me a message and say hi, I love making new friends! 

Interested in finding our more about other Tommee Tippee products? The brand is very active on Facebook and have just launched their South African Instagram Account for you to connect with them and ask any questions you might have.

This post is sponsored by Tommee Tippee but all thoughts & views are honest and my own. 

#EverlyStartsSolids - our baby weaning journey...the beginning

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Starting solids is scary for some, and exciting for others. I must say, I was so excited at first, and now that I am a little more experienced (i.e. I've had to deal with all the extra work that goes into it) I do wish I had hung in there and waited until she was actually 6 months old. Something else than can happen when you start introducing food too quickly (and too much of it) is that baby gets full quicker, therefore drinking less milk, and therefore there is a good chance your milk supply will start to get less and less. I plan on breastfeeding for at least a year, and so as soon as I started getting a bit too caught up in the whole 'she needs 3 meals a day' mentality, I realised I needed to take a step back and make sure that my milk is still her number one food source.

When to start Solids

I started introducing solids when Everly had just turned 5 months old. After consulting good old google, and all of the baby books collecting dust on my shelf, I thought it to be a good time. She was displaying most of the 'ready' signs (sitting up, reaching for our food, showing a lot of interest in food, the tongue thrust reflex disappearing etc), and to be honest, I was SO EXCITED to move on to the next baby chapter. If following a more traditional approach to weaning (ie making puree's and spoon feeding, most recommendations are to start somewhere between 4 & 6 months).

On that note...there are SO many different opinions on when to start solids, and just as many differing ideas on how to go about it. While I always thought I would be following the 'baby led weaning' approach, I also wanted to try my hand at making my own puree and so decided to go ahead with a bit of a mixed approach.  Also, as I started before 6 months (baby led weaning advises waiting until baby is 6 months old or even older) this meant I could really get stuck into preparing 'meals' For Everly. 

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Meals is such a loose term, as most babies barely touch the food they are given for the first few days/weeks. But this is okay, after all, when starting out, all you are wanting to do is expose baby to as many different textures and tastes as possible.

Your milk/formula still makes up the bulk of their nutrition.

Farmboy and I have also followed a Banting/low carb high fat way of eating for the last couple of years (although we are far less strict with this now!) and so have chosen to avoid rice cereal as a starter food. Instead, after reading Tim Noakes' Raising Superheroes / Super Food for Super Children (thanks mom), The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care (again, thanks mom) and this blog post, I decided to start with egg yolk as a first food. It wasn't the only thing I gave my little girl, she also had some pre-chewed up apple and pear, as well as some raw carrot thrown into the mix. She absolutely loved the egg yolk the first two times I have it to her, and subsequently hasn't been too impressed with it. I am going to keep trying as egg yolks are jam packed with essential nutrients important for the development of the brain (the are full of choline, good cholesterol and iron!).

*NB Raising Superheroes is not a Banting cookbook; it doesn’t offer no-carb eating for kids. It does, however, advocate low-sugar, low-refined-carb, real food eating.

*NB Raising Superheroes is not a Banting cookbook; it doesn’t offer no-carb eating for kids. It does, however, advocate low-sugar, low-refined-carb, real food eating.

But, as I have learned, you really can't/shouldn't force a baby to eat something they don't want to. But, it is important to keep trying as some babies take something like 10 attempts at trying a food before they realise they actually like it.

Somewhere along the way, Evy had a few good pukes (who knows whether this had to do with the egg I had given her, a stomach bug that had been making the rounds or just from me giving her too much for her little tummy to handle), and so I decided to slow things right down, give her a break from solids, and go back to basics. This is where I found the Weaning Sense book by Meg Faure to be really useful. It's got a great guide and meal plan for starting solids, which really does help to get your mind around the whole solids thing. 

#EverlyStartsSolids Weaning Baby 5 months start solids

We are only really a month into the whole solids thing, and so I wanted to write this blog post and share with you all my mindset behind starting when I did, and to share what it's been like so far.

A few things I've learned in the past month:

  • ALWAYS have a cloth on hand as well as a bib...the food really does go EVERYWHERE

  • Use a transparent bowl/cup/container...babies like to see what they are eating

  • Experiment with temperature...it seems that my baby prefers cold food to warm food (weird, I know!)

  • Don't take your own judgement of flavour into account. Mixing avo and pear sounds really gross to me, but babies don't know any better. Also, try to expose your baby to as many different (age appropriate) foods so they don't become fussy eaters (like their parents!)

  • If you'd also like to avoid rice cereal, but aren't brave enough to attempt egg yolk, oats make a very good first food and from then on a good base food to add other things to.

  • You don't need to spend a fortune on goodies and gadgets to help you prepare meals...I very nearly spent over R600 on a couple of fancy ice-trays until my mom found these pretty pastel ones from Plastic Land. On the other hand, there are some gadgets that are amazing, and I would highly recommend purchasing (blog post to come soon). At the end of the day, if you like to have matching ice trays in a variety of co-ordinating colours, do it! If it makes the whole food prep thing more enjoyable for you, then I say go for it.

  • I do wish I had waited till she was 6 months before starting (mostly because breastfeeding is just so convenient when it comes to 'meal' time...and whipping out a boob is far easier than preparing/packing/heating up a meal. It's also less mess, less dishes and overall no worrying about whether they've eaten enough. Although I do wish I had given myself another month of convenience, I have had a lot of fun so far with experimenting with foods and seeing what her little taste buds to when exposed to a whole new world of tastes and textures


Equipment I found useful for the first few days/weeks:

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  • Spoons (I've been using the Munchikin range which I bought at Mr Price Home). The tips change colour to white when the food is hot

  • A mesh baggy thingy (also from Munchikin and also bought at Mr Price Home) which is great for putting pieces of food in to suck on

  • Ice-trays from Plastic Land to freeze freshly prepared food in

  • Clear zip lock bags to store the food from the ice trays in (these takes up a lot less space in the freezer)

  • Avent cups (I bought these on Takealot and mainly use them for freezing breastmilk as they also fit my breastpump...but they work a charm for serving food too!)

  • Bumbo seat (I plan on buying one of those white plastic high chairs from Game when she gets too big for the bumbo...which won't be far off because, well...#thunderthighs haha)


On a side note, it's very easy to get REALLY caught up in the whole solids thing, especially when it comes to their very first taste of something other than milk. But, at the end of the day, you aren't going to 'ruin' your baby if you don't give them the most perfect/organic/made from unicorn tears meal...so take it easy on yourself and have fun with it! 

The best piece of advice I've come across so far for introducing solids is

'Food before One is just for Fun'

and that little rhyme has helped me not get too caught up in the whole thing, especially when Everly refuses to eat anything solid for 2 days and then has a bad night and I get all in a tizz thinking that it's because she's 'starving' due to not having eaten all the fancy food I prepared her. And while we are on the topic, be prepared for the disappointment when your little one isn't as taken with your freshly prepared dish, preferring to chew on the wet face cloth you've placed beside her to help keep some sort of order in the chaos.

So that's where we are right now in the journey to solids.

Do you have any advice for us? Anything that helped you or any great products (or any nice recipes) you'd like to share? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!